Aussie coach denies report of taking helm of a Chinese club

Updated: 2013-05-23 17:23

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou (

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Australian coach Graham Arnold has denied reports in the Chinese media that he is tempted to take charge of Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F.

In a media conference after an AFC Champions League match between his side, Central Coast Mariners, and Guangzhou Evergrande on Wednesday night, Arnold said he has not had any direct contact with Guangzhou R&F.

Recent reports said several overseas coaches including Arnold, Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson and South Korean Lee Jang-soo were candidates to take over at R&F, which fired Brazilian manager Sergio Farias last week.

“No, no! It (the speculation) is not correct. I haven’t visited the club,” he said.

Arnold, also former coach of the Australian national team, will end his contract with Central Coast summer, after the Mariners claimed Australian league title.

Chinese reports said Arnold would have talks with R&F’s upper management during his team’s visit to Guangzhou.

The Mariners fell at the quarterfinal stage of the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night when they were defeated 3-0 by Chinese Super League champion Evergrande, completing a 5-1 aggregate loss to Marcello Lippi’s side.

“I am proud of my team. The budget of our team is only A$2.5 million ($2.4 million) a year, but we claimed the domestic league title,” he said.

“There is a huge gap in budget between us and Guangzhou Evergrande, which has invested about A$40 million a year. Guangzhou deserves the win, given that it also has some top foreign players,” Arnold said.

The Australian said during an AFC Champions League group match against Guizhou Renhe that he wanted to find a job in the CSL.

“There are some Chinese clubs, including Guangzhou R&F which have sent invitations to me. It would be a challenge to coach in China,” he said.

Guangzhou R&F, which has only two wins after 10 games in the domestic league, fired Farias on Sunday, shortly after it was defeated 3-2 by Renhe.

A report said club leaders at Guangzhou R&F had talks with Eriksson on Thursday afternoon and will soon have another chat with Lee Jang-soo, the former head coach Evergrande.

“The new head coach is yet to be announced. “Right now, nothing has been decided,” Chen Jie, the media manager at Guangzhou R&F, told China Daily.